Kick-Off Meeting in Gabrovo Bulgaria

2017-11-01, Europe

A European project proposing to tackle challenges brought by the European refugee crisis via arts and humor started officially in October 2017, with its first international meeting at the House of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo, Bulgaria.

The project is titled “Borderline Offensive: Laughing in the Face of Fear”, and it will engage 20 European and Middle Eastern artists as well as members of refugee and host communities living in Europe in a discussion about the crisis and how to address it. Until 2020, several new artworks will be created within the project and tour across Europe.

The project is co-financed (inter alia) by the Creative Europe programme and the Västra Götaland Cultural Affairs Committee, and is led by a Swedish organization in cooperation with cultural operators from other 11 countries, in Bulgaria, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Croatia, Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Turkey and Germany.

The purpose of the meeting in Bulgaria was to prepare 5 transnational artistic residencies in 2018 (open call for artists to be published in December), as well as to discuss the perspectives and contexts about the xenophobia/populism/refugee crisis and exchange knowledge and inspiration about the different artistic and social realities of each country.

Credit on all photos to Borderline Offensive, Ivan-Aleksandyr Kjutev, Silvia Cherkezova.

Participants discuss strategies for audience and societal development

Participants work together on the project’s artistic manifesto

Performance-reading of “Welcome to Bulgaria / Refugees Welcome” directed by Gergana Dimitrova, at House of Humour and Satire

Participants share knowledge and inspiration with each other

Nisreen (Palestine) and Janka (Slovakia) laugh together

Excerpt Performance by Na Peróne theatre company members

Performative Artwork by Hiba Al Ansari

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